When the Audible abridged version of this book was released in 2002, I was excited because I had read the print version and knew it to be a wonderful story. It is one of my favorite Pendergast novels. Really enjoyable due to the excellent narration of Rene Auberjonois. However, I knew it lacked somewhat because of the abridgement.
A lot of us were really disappointed that we had not been offered an unabridged version--but here it is. I was a little hesitant because they are using a new narrator, Jonathan Marosz. I went for it anyway, and am glad I did. He isn't Rene, but he does a good job of creating the individual voices, and I found his subtle affect very pleasing after I got used to it.
THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is so much fun to listen to because it is classic Pendergast. He blackmails, manipulates, and smooth talks his way through any situation. A continuous thorn in the side of the "authority figures" he is a true friend to the regular folks, and has a huge array of contacts he can call on when needed.
Pendergast is attempting to solve the mystery of 36 people who were murdered and buried about a hundred years ago--their bones were found when a new building site is being cleared in New York. We go back in time to the world of the 19th Century -where some made money by putting strange oddities on display - and calling them Cabinets of Curiosities. Some were real, but some were contrived to make the displays as gruesome as possible (like sewing two lamb heads on one body.) The murderer had his own Cabinet at the time, which he used for more than one purpose---
One disappointment--In this book there is no D'Agosta- who I kind of missed. Pendergast does enlist the aid of another New York policeman, however, and also an Archeologist from the New York Museum of Natural History. Both good characters!
A reporter, Bill Smithback, is writing a story about the murder victims-with details about how they were killed-- and soon afterward, current day murders start occurring which are so similar to the old one's, they could have been committed by the same person. Except, of course, there is no way he could be alive today-or could he?? This story weaves us back and forth through the past and present, as Pendergast attempts to solve the mystery. However, the method of these murders is so unique, that it is hard to believe this is a "copy cat killer." To say more would spoil the surprise--
Truly an enjoyable book. Edge of the seat type thriller. Very recommended!
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